Midgets Breakdancing Interview with Bryan Newman
Interview with Bryan Newman
Interview taken from "Midgets Breakdancing" zine.
MBD: Introduce yourself.
B: I'm Bryan, I play drums. Right now I'm doing the dishes, 'cause I haven't done them in about three weeks.
MBD: Explain how the band met, and why you formed.
B: Well, right now we have completely a different lineup than when we started. Me and Chris have been in bands together since probably 8th grade, back then we'd play Smashing Pumpkins covers after school or whatever. Then we were in this punk band, Sefler. We put out one 7" on this really small label in Jersey, but no one ever really bought it. As our sound progressed, we were becoming more melodic, with a more of an edge, and the stuff we did at the end of that band became what was on the Saves The Day demo. When we recorded the Saves the Day demo, our bass player never showed up, but Sean did, so we were like, "do you want to play for us?" and he was into it so he did, and we changed our name right there and then. About four months later we got Anthony as a second guitarist, but when we did the record ("Can't Slow Down), we did it with basically just me and Chris. Chris played all the instruments, and sang, and I played drums. Justin quit soon after we recorded, and Anthony quit after summer tour. So we got our long time friend David, who was actually in Sefler for a while, to play for us, and right before winter tour we got Ted, who we've also been friends with for a long time to play second guitar. So now we also have a new bass player, this kid Eben from Long Island, New York. So the only original members left are me and Chris. Weird, no?
MBD: What do you guys have coming up, as far as releases, and tours?
B: We just recorded an acoustic 7"/CD. The Cd's got 4 songs and a cover and the 7" has 3 songs. It's coming out on Immigrant Sun Records, right in time for our summer tour. And then in June we're recording 11 songs for what will be our next full length, and that's gonna come out early next fall on Equal Vision. I seriously think it's gonna blow people out of the water. It's definitely the best stuff we've done yet. So right now we're not really playing any shows for a while now and we're just practicing and working on all the new stuff. We leave for tour on July 2nd and we meet up with Kid Dynamite in San Diego on the 18th, and we'll be out with them for about a month. Then, after the new record comes out we're going to go to Europe and then we'll probably do the US again. Of course, shit happens, so God only knows if we'll stick with that schedule.
MBD: What was your worst show experience?
B: We've had a couple. The worst was definitely in New York City at a club called Brownie's. The first time we played there it was amazing. The second time was with Ink and Dagger, and by the way at the time we were sort of at odds with Sean. We started playing, and there was no guitar, or vocals coming out of the speakers. All you could hear was the bass and drums, so Chris (who had had a really bad day) started screaming at the sound guy. And, it was Ted's first show, so he was messing up left and right. David's guitar kept going really out of tune, so Sean went over to David's amp and unplugged the chord, in the middle of a song, so David flipped him off, on stage! I swear to God people thought we were breaking up as we were playing. Anyway, David's guitar wouldn't stay in tune, he dropped it or something before the show. It felt like a fucked up nightmare or something that wouldn't end, and it didn't, 'cause when we went into "Jodie", which starts out with that intro, you know. . . David's guitar wasn't working, so we played the intro for probably four minutes, it was horrible. It's ok though, you take the good with the bad, and we've had plenty of good.
MBD: How do you like EVR? Do you plan to stay with them?
B: The next record will be on EVR, for sure. After that, we don't know what's gonna happen. It's like, we all really believe in the music, and think we can go far, and we'd like to see how far it can really go. We'll look at majors next year, and see what happens. We've already seen some interest from a couple major labels, but the next record will definitely be on Equal Vision. It's really good with them (EVR) right now, they're great people and they're supporting us a lot. Plus it's like, when I was growing up, all my favorite bands were on EVR, so when we got signed, I was 17, and it was a huge deal. And it's still really exciting. So that was a big deal then, and it still is, but we're not afraid of looking at other possibilities.
MBD: If you could change one thing about "Can't Slow Down" what would it be?
B: I actually really don't have that much I would change on that record, other than the fact that it was really, really rushed. When we did "Can't Slow Down," none of us had any real experience with recording and the place we recorded at, Trax East, is like where Metallica would record or something. We recorded the record about a year and a half ago, but it seems like we had no idea what we were doing. We hadn't practiced enough, so the songs weren't coming together. So, Chris ended up playing most of the record himself and I played drums. I don't have any real regrets, I mean there's always gonna be that one drum fill or whatever that I'd want to redo, but all in all we're all really proud of that record... but it's sort of a new band now. I guess what I'd say is that it's unfortunate that we spent 2 years in a band with people that weren't really into it, or into the music. Or, at least not into it for the reasons that we're into it now.
MBD: What do you do outside of STD? Do you have a day job?
B: Right now I go to art school in New York. David and I are both photography students. David goes to school in Boston but he comes down a good deal and we collaborate a lot with our photography. We just got back from this week long road trip through the South. We were sort of documenting the fall of Southern culture, and how the whole country's becoming homogenized, as well as creating this really romanticized, idealized road trip through our images. We've worked together a lot. Like I said, he goes to school in Boston, but we still work together a lot. All in all, I have a life completely separate from the band. Most of my friends here at school and in New York really don't know much about the band I'm in. They know I'm in a band, but they don't really get it, you know?
MBD: Where exactly is the band from?
B: I guess we're technically a NJ band, since that's where we practice, but we live in 3 different states right now. Me, Chris, and Dave have all gone to school together since 1st grade in New Jersey, which is pretty amazing. If things work out, I'd like to relocate to New York. I do have a lot of Jersey pride though, don't get me wrong. In Jersey there's the best of everything. You have the beach right there, and the city, and summer weather, and winter weather. There's everything here. But still, I'd love to live in New York all year round.
MBD: If I'm walking the streets in your neighborhood (In NYC) with $9 in my pocket, where do I go?
B: That's a good question, one of the best ones I've ever gotten... Well, I know enough people here that I usually don't pay for things, but if I want to eat really well I'll go to this amazing restaurant called Angelica Kitchen. It's great, it's all vegan, and it's great food, and I have friends that work there. Or, I'd go to Bowery Bar, it's really nice, a lot of models hang out there, so you can't really lose. Sometimes it's really gay, but it's a really nice place, and half of my friends are gay anyway.
MBD: Closing comments, words of wisdom?
B: I don't know, I guess the big thing for me right now is that I'm only gonna live life once, so I'm taking lots of chances. That's pretty much what I'm doing by dropping out of school next year to concentrate on the band. If opportunities arise, go with them, don't worry about what your parents will think, or what it means in the long run. And enjoy your youth, don't always wish you were older...